Some analysts, as well as the US government, say Edward Snowden's new leak, of the 'black budget' for US clandestine operations, reveals too much about US intelligence priorities. Others, who argue for more transparency, practically cheer.
The "black budget" for US clandestine operations – newly leaked by former US contractor Edward Snowden – portrays a sprawling global operation that is geared to detect and defeat terrorists, but is dominated by a data-collection program so massive that other priorities could easily be crowded out, analysts and critics said one day after the top-secret document was published.
Details from the 2013 National Intelligence Program budget, portions of which the Washington Post made available as of Thursday on its website, identify top US spending priorities as fighting terrorism, halting the spread of nuclear weapons, warning of critical events overseas, counterintelligence, and cyberespionage and cyberattack operations.
Some information in the 178-page summary document simply validates what was already thought to be true – such as the level of spending for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA). But the amount of detail, together with a big-picture overview of intelligence operations, provides a much fuller picture of a government activity that has expanded dramatically over the past decade.
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